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BenQ GV30 Portable Projector Review: Great Sound and Android TV Will Tempt You

Abhik Sengupta
2022/02/26
Design

As I began, the BenQ GV30 is probably not the most attractive projector in terms of appearance. And I say this when I compare it to portable projectors such as the ViewSonic M1+ G2 that looks stylish and remains very easy to carry. Similarly, the unpopular projector manufacturer XGIMI’s Elfin Mini projector adopts a more traditional box-shaped design, though it is super-sleek and offers Full-HD resolution. Therefore, in this section, I will talk about the appearance in terms of portability, while functional design factors will be covered in the next section.

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The BenQ GV30 features a wheel design, and it comes with a magnetic base that helps adjust the viewing angles. The projector’s body adopts a white finish that may require periodic cleaning as it can attract fingerprint smudges. The chunky base has a non-glossy chocolate finish, and at the bottom of the base, there’s a fibre cover to help users drag the device on a smooth surface without leaving scratch marks. Both sides have speaker grills, and the connectivity ports are also exposed. There’s a single HDMI port, USB-C port, a 3.5mm audio output port, and power port. The wireless connectivity options include the older-gen Bluetooth 4.2 and dual-band Wi-Fi support..

In terms of portability, the BenQ GV30 is indeed portable, but it clearly does not have the sleekest design. With a height of roughly 7.7-inch and a width of 4.7 inches, it will occupy a good chunk of space in your regular backpack. However, the company offers a stylish travel case that has dedicated chambers for each part - making it very easy to carry. The projector also has buttons to manage volume or establish a Bluetooth connection with portable speakers.

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Performance and display

If the appearance side of the BenQ GV30 was underwhelming, fortunately, the performance side has lots of positives. Firstly, setting up the device is extremely easy and adjusting the angles is equally convenient. The latter is mainly due to the design that was perhaps finalised by keeping usability in mind.

Due to the design, the lens on the BenQ GV30 is already above the flat surface (or the ground), therefore, the throw ratio is naturally favourable for a stable, well-framed screen. In fact, it was easier to get a more suitable frame even when the projector was kept at different angles. Due to the round design and magnetic base, users can adjust projection angles (vertically) up to 135 degrees which could be useful in several cases.

But the selling point of the BenQ GV30, for me, is the Android TV OS that makes the viewing experience a lot better and easy. When I reviewed the ViewSonic M1+ G2 a few months ago, despite decent picture quality and design, the Aptoide app experience was underwhelming. The Android TV OS makes the device easy to operate, intuitive, and honestly, smarter. However, Android TV experience is brought by the BenQ Android TV Stick that needs to be plugged inside a hidden compartment.

Speaking of the display quality, the BenQ GV30 projector supports auto-focus and auto-keystone. Users can adjust focus and keystone (only vertical) manually by heading to settings, but in my experience, the projector recognised the projection surface accurately. The native resolution was Full-HD even though the projector supports HD resolution. BenQ rates the projector at 300 ANSI lumens, which is bright enough for a portable projector but only dark settings. If you’re using it during a work presentation where there’s ambient light, the colour accuracy might be an issue.

Overall, the BenQ GV30 offers a good viewing experience with decent brightness and satisfactory sharpness using ‘normal mode’.

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Sound and battery

The sound on the BenQ GV30 projector definitely exceeds expectations. There’s a 2.1 audio channel (4Wx2 midrange tweeters and 8W woofer) with extra bass. Even with fans switched on in your room, the sound is mostly clear with decent amounts of bass. It also means that the audio isn’t flat, and if the projector is close to you, the sound experience is immersive. The volume can be set loud enough to fill a 420 sq ft bedroom. The BenQ GV30 comes bundled with a remote that adopts a white finish and is made of plastic. Apart from volume controls, the remote has dedicated buttons for keystone correction, Google Assistant, Prime, and more. In terms of battery, we get what BenQ promises, that is, 2.5 hours of battery backup, which isn’t good but isn’t entirely bad either. If you’re indoors, who can keep the unit running on power; however, fully outdoor settings will only let you watch one movie (or maybe not also that).

Verdict

Overall, the BenQ GV30 projector is a good portable projector that looks okay and performs tastefully. The Rs 53,000-price tag does seem a bit much to pay, but if you look at the competitions in the same range, the addition of Android TV OS and 2.1 sound channel gives this an edge.

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